Time is up and we’re now at the airport in Chennai, waiting for our flight to Bangkok. In the month that we’ve been here we’ve eaten our way through approximately 300 tablespoons of Ghee, 600 table spoons of Cream and tons of yoghurt. We’ve gorged on paneer, tucked in to Indian sweets and nibbled on strange fried things that we haven’t much cared for (as well as some we loved).
One thing is for sure, my body needs a detox. Even after eating fruit salad for breakfast and giant salads for lunch (thank you Cafe Inn, Palolem, Goa). My insides feel like they need a good wash, and my body is showing signs it agrees. I have a rash spreading over my hands and feet and whilst I’m fairly certain it’s an allergy to a certain spice (it’s happened after the odd visit to Brick Lane in London too), I can’t shake the thought that it might just be my body objecting.
I don’t regret it for a second though, although I’m a little worried that this is the only cuisine Tim wants to eat for the rest of our lives. That aside, I’ve enjoyed sampling some new flavours… and a lot of familiar ones too. If, like England, your country has a lot of Indian food, you’ll know what to expect. Thick sauces, rich buttery breads and delicious filled pastry snacks. For the English, the food is much the same as your favourite Indian restaurant… but less spicy. But there are some very new and unusual treats here too.
Here’s a list of my favourites:
Masala Chai – so much better than regular tea, it’s a combination of sweet and savoury. The tasty masala spices (and sometimes pepper) complement the tea leaves, add the sugar and warm milk and you’ve got yourself the perfect cuppa.
Aloo dum kashmiri – spicy potato curry topped with fruit, truly a taste sensation.
Chilli Idle – fermented rice cakes don’t sound good, but infuse them in a strange Indian-chinese hybrid chilli sauce and you’re on to a winner.
Thali – a platter of Indian foods, this usually comes with a Dhal (lentil soup), two veg curries, rice, chapatti x 2, papad (popadom) x 1, curd (yoghurt) or sweet rice/spongy syrup cake thing. And it sometimes comes with a spicy lime pickle too.
And for those of you who don’t get a lot of Indian food at home…
Samosa – filled triangular pastry parcels. The veg ones usually come with spicy potato and mixed veg inside and they’re the perfect snack. Especially in India, where they come in twos with a bowl of chick pea curry on the side – all for 30 rupees (about 40p).